A big concern for many patients when getting surgery is scarring. More specifically, how noticeable the scarring will be. It’s inevitable that with incisions there will be scars. Doctors can be strategic with the placement, size, and type of incisions made to help hide potential scarring, but how your scars heal is mainly determined by how you care for them. Good post-op care is crucial to achieve thin, flat and faded scars. While we can’t promise your scars won’t be visible, we can give you our 5 tips that can help minimize the appearance of scarring after surgery.
- Avoid exposure to sunlight: Exposure to the sun's UV rays has the potential to cause hyperpigmentation on your scar, which can alter your scar’s appearance. To avoid this, always apply sunscreen, especially when direct sunlight to your scar can’t be avoided.
- Avoid smoking and alcohol: Nicotine reduces blood flow which in return delays or prolongs healing. Alcohol dehydrates the body, which can affect your overall health. Both affect the health of your body, and when your body isn’t healthy the healing process can lengthen.
- Massage your scar: A few weeks after your surgery begin massaging your incisions and the surrounding area to reduce inflammation, and even out any lumps or bumps under the skin that may cause poor scar healing.
- Apply Silicone: Silicone gel or sheets applied to scars has been found to increase hydration, normalize collagen production, and reduce hypertrophic scarring (thick pink scars).
- Avoid Tension: Moving, lifting, or stretching in ways that put added tension and stress on your healing scars can widen and thicken the appearance of the scar, and in some instances can prolong healing.
Along with these tips, following the wound care instructions provided by your doctor will help ensure proper healing. Once the incisions have healed it can take months to years for the scars to fade. They won't be completely gone, but they can be less noticeable.
For some patients, genetics can play a part in how your scars heal. Be sure to address any concerns you may have with your doctor. If you are interested in one of our cosmetic surgery procedures, take the first step and schedule a consultation by calling us at 208-939-3110 or visiting us online.
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